Perception of Neurosurgery Residents and Attendings on Online Webinars During COVID-19 Pandemic and Implications on Future Education

World Neurosurg. 2020 Nov 9;S1878-8750(20)32390-1. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.11.015. Online ahead of print.


Background: Online education provided an important tool to continue medical education during COVID-19 pandemic. Our study aimed to evaluate trainee and attending perceptions of online webinars as an educational tool in neurosurgery.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey study. A web-based 19-questions survey was distributed to the people who attended the webinar series that was carried out by the Saudi Association of Neurological Surgery (SANS) from March 29, 2020, to May 31, 2020. Candidates were identified through their registration emails. The survey was distributed between June 5 - 8, 2020.

Results: A total of 156 responses were received (survey response rate: 60%). The overall satisfaction rate among residents and attendings (board-certified neurosurgeons) was similar (>80%). However, only 56.4% of attendings reported they were comfortable with online webinars compared to 81.2% of residents (P-value<0.0001). Seventy-five percent of residents found online lectures more useful than traditional in-person lectures compared to 52% of attendings (P-value=0.01).

Conclusions: Online educational webinars provide an educational value that can be considered as an adjunct to the traditional (in-person) education methods. Among trainees, the satisfaction of neurosurgery webinars was encouraging to consider as an education method. More objective research and progress are required to adopt and refine existing online didactic and neurosurgical teaching tools while creating more engaging future distant learning models.

Keywords: COVID-19; Neurosurgery; online teaching; postgraduate medical education; webinars.